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Archive for tag: yigal bander

What determines how much money I can recover in a lawsuit?

First, it depends on the severity and duration of the injuries and the economic costs associated with the injuries.  You are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills, including estimated future medical bills. You are also entitled to be compensated for past lost wages and for any future loss of earning capacity.  Past medical bills and past lost wages are relatively easy to prove; future medical bills and future loss of earning capacity require expert testimony.  Finally, you are entitled to “general damages” for the past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life you experience or are expected to experience as a result of the accident.  General damages are usually the biggest component of a personal injury recovery.   

Second, it depends on the amount of money available to compensate for your damages.  Unless the defendant is a solvent corporation or an extremely wealthy individual, you are not going to recover more than the insurance limits no matter what your injuries are.  That is – again – why it’s always a good idea to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).

What happens if my damages are greater than the insurance money available for the claim?

Unless your defendant is a solvent business, or an individual with considerable assets, it will be extremely difficult to recover more than the limits of the other driver’s liability coverage plus your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).  In theory it can be done (the driver at fault is personally liable whatever his insurance coverage is), but in practice it rarely happens.  The best thing you can do to prevent such a situation is to purchase as much liability coverage as you can, and UM coverage at the same level.  

Who is responsible for my medical coverage: my health insurer or my auto insurer?

If you have health insurance, you’ve been paying premiums every month in exchange for your health insurer’s promise to pay for your medical treatment when you need it. You should use your health insurance when you seek treatment for your injuries.  If you recover, you may be obligated to pay your health insurer back for what they paid for your related treatment, but you will still come out better than if you don’t use your health insurance. Even if you have “medical payments” coverage in your auto insurance, you should use your health insurance without drawing on your “medical payments” coverage if at all possible. Your lawyer should be able to explain this to you in greater detail, and to assist you if you run into a problem using your health insurance.

How do I support myself financially if I am hurt? Can my attorney loan me money?

Your attorney is allowed to and normally will advance case costs, which may include related medical expenses as well as court costs and other incurred expenses. Your attorney is not a bank, however, and is not allowed to loan you money except under extraordinary circumstances and subject to a number of conditions. An attorney is not allowed even to discuss with you the possibility of financial assistance until after you’ve signed up.   

What can I recover if the other party isn’t insured?

In this blog post, Yigal Bander discusses the importance of UM covergae.  In some instances, it may be the only way for you to get any compensation for your injuries.

 

 

If the other party isn’t insured, you can recover from your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).  It’s always a good idea to purchase UM coverage with the same limits as your liability coverage.  If the other driver was in a company vehicle, or even in his own vehicle but working for an employer at the time, you can recover from the employer.  Otherwise, if the other driver is uninsured and not on the job, and you don’t have UM coverage, it may be difficult if not impossible to recover at all.

What can I recover if the other party isn’t insured?

In this post Yigal Bander explains why UM covergae is important.  Sometimes it is the only way you can be compensated for your injuries.  Yigal's comments follow:

 

If the other party isn’t insured, you can recover from your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).  It’s always a good idea to purchase UM coverage with the same limits as your liability coverage.  If the other driver was in a company vehicle, or even in his own vehicle but working for an employer at the time, you can recover from the employer.  Otherwise, if the other driver is uninsured and not on the job, and you don’t have UM coverage, it may be difficult if not impossible to recover at all.

What can I recover if the other party isn’t insured?

In this blog post Yigal Bander discuss what it is imperative that you purchase UM coverage.  As discussed below, it can mean the difference between recovering something for your injuries or nothing at all.  Yigal's comments follow:

 

If the other party isn’t insured, you can recover from your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).  It’s always a good idea to purchase UM coverage with the same limits as your liability coverage.  If the other driver was in a company vehicle, or even in his own vehicle but working for an employer at the time, you can recover from the employer.  Otherwise, if the other driver is uninsured and not on the job, and you don’t have UM coverage, it may be difficult if not impossible to recover at all.

• Does it hurt my case if I have been involved in previous accidents and filed suit?

Sometimes people are afraid to pursue a legitimate claim because they've had an accident in the past.  In this blog post Yigal Bander addresses that concern and advises that you may have more serious injuries becuase of a previous accident.  Yigal's answer to this question follows:

 

Not necessarily.  Someone who causes an accident “takes his victim as he finds him”, and is responsible for whatever injuries he causes or aggravates.  Just because you were injured before doesn’t mean you can’t be injured again; on the contrary, you may be more at risk of serious injury from a current accident because of injuries suffered in a previous accident.  The important thing is to let your doctor (and your lawyer if you have one) know of your medical history, including previous injuries.

• Do I have a case even if there isn’t any property damage to my car?

In this blog post, our civil trial attorney-Yigal Bander- addresses common fear that you cannot be compensated for your injuries if you are involved in a "low impact" car wreck. Simply put, a low impact collision is one that does not appear to damage the body of a car.  Often, people fear that their case will not be taken seriously if there isn't any observable damage to the car.  Yigal's comments on this issue as follows:

 

If you are injured you have an injury case regardless of the damage to your car.  Modern vehicles are built to withstand low speed crashes, but your body isn’t.  You may have an easier time convincing an adjuster, judge, or jury of the seriousness of your injuries if your vehicle was also seriously damaged, but if you’re hurt you’re hurt.  What your doctor says is more important than the damage to your vehicle.

What does “full coverage” mean?

There is a common misconception concerning the term "full coverage" as it pertains to your auto insurance policy. In this post, one of our civil trial lawyers- Yigal Bander- addresses this issue.

 

The term “full coverage” means different things to different people.  Many people say they have “full coverage” when they have liability coverage, collision (which pays to fix or replace your vehicle after a crash regardless of fault), comprehensive (which pays to fix or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged for reasons other than a crash, or if it’s stolen), and maybe some “bells and whistles” like rental coverage and roadside assistance.  But that leaves out the most important coverage you can buy, which is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).  Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays you for your injuries, up to the limits of the coverage you buy, if the other, at-fault driver has no liability insurance, or doesn’t have enough liability insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries.  Louisiana law requires your insurance company to sell you UM coverage with the same limits as your liability coverage unless you opt out of it, or elect something less, which you should never do.  On the contrary, you should always make sure you buy full (not “economic only”) UM coverage with the same limits as your liability coverage.  That’s real “full coverage.”